When we moved into our new house, it came with one hand-written instruction for the heating:
“Press the button for heat”
That was it. No thermostat, no timer, just a binary switch. During the summer this was fine, but heading into winter and with cold mornings this wasn’t going to work for us. I spent a month looking at Nest, Hive, Netatmo, Tado and even the expensive EvoHome gear.
Nest has a beautiful screen with so many features, but costs £200 (or £160 if you’re with nPower) and it’s a thermostat. Does it really need a calendar?
Then there’s Hive, which wasn’t quite as feature rich as Nest and cost about the same.
Netatmo fell into the same camp as Hive and it didn’t really appeal. The thermostat itself just didn’t catch my eye
EvoHome was a possibility. It had a huge range of possibilities and as the only part of the thermostat we had was the Honeywell BDR91A we had the bit that talks to the boiler already. Ultimately though, the price was a bit too much and I’d heard the TRVs were a bit noisy.
Tado was the leader for a long time, but then I found out that if their server went down the smart phone app didn’t work locally and schedules couldn’t be altered.
Then a friend mentioned the Drayton Wiser kit. It looked like a great option. Drayton have been making heating equipment for years but haven’t done much with IoT. This might explain why their basic one channel kit is only £130. £70 less than the retail price of Nest. For the same price as Nest you get two wireless TRVs, meaning you can have two rooms set to two different temperatures. Perfect if you want to keep a nursery at a consistent temperature while varying the temperature of the living room, or if you work from home and only want to warm the office during the day.
Drayton’s Twitter team are really responsive and confirmed that unlike Tado, if there’s a server or internet outage and you’re at home you can still use the app.
There were two things that Wiser didn’t have that would make it perfect, an Open API that I could hook into OpenHAB and geofencing, but we can work on that, right? 😉
So, the price was right, the features were right, I could start with just the thermostat and add TRVs gradually in the future. Only one thing to do – order the Kit 1 from Screwfix!